Part 2: We’re All a Part of History
In my research of digging into the history of this school, I decided to take a pause from the actual past. Instead I took a look at the history that is being made here everyday. Since March of 2020, this generation of students will be known as a major part of future history. Quarantine, Covid, online school, masks, the list goes on for the major life changes we have all endured over the past year. So I sent out a form asking the entire senior class, “How did Covid-19 affect you?” I ended up receiving many responses, and here I will be sharing and discussing some of the statistics of these responses.
Initial Reactions to School Closure
The statistics gathered here are how students felt about the school closure in March of 2020. 74% of students missed school from the social aspect; they were affected by not being able to see their friends everyday. When schools first closed, 43% of students were happy that they didn’t have to go to school anymore, but looking back, 40% of students also said they feel like they missed out on many once in a lifetime experiences. While 39% of students surveyed said that they just genuinely missed going to school everyday, about 17% of students said that the closure didn’t really affect them or they plainly just did not care either way. It is important to keep in mind, however, that on March 13, 2020 no one knew what the outcome of this closure was going to bring. After all, the original closure was only supposed to be for Monday and Tuesday of the following week. The panic and reality of the situation started to hit when the closure was extended for two weeks and then what would eventually become months of isolation and chaos.
Early Online Learning
The next question asked was based on each student’s individual experiences, as we all were learning how to learn and teach in an online environment; it was difficult to retain a lot of information for most. Google became our main teacher, Youtube became our tutors and some students fell into bad habits without the structure of the traditional school day. How much did students really learn from March 2020 to June 2020? Well this statistic gives us a nice inside look on the students’ perspective of the early stages of online learning. Over 50% of students said that they learned very little or only a few things in the early quarantine days. 12% of students claim to have learned a decent amount during these early online days. 34% of students claimed they really learned nothing, and most of these students feel like there was hardly any genuine teaching or learning early in the online learning process (March-June 2020). While 1.5% of students claimed that they learned just as much as they would’ve if they were in the building everyday, these statistics are not surprising. No one saw this coming, and everyone (students, teachers, parents, etc.) was trying to figure out this new way of doing things on the fly.
Returning to School
After schools closed their doors we all remember what happened next. The complete isolation, stores were shut down, people were not supposed to leave their homes, and the quarantine began. As the months of the pandemic dragged on, we all wondered what would happen come September. Are the schools going to reopen or stay closed in September 2020? Most districts decided to give families the option if they wanted to come in or not. The majority of students chose hybrid learning, while some chose to remain fully virtual.
As the school year slowly moved along, most districts had high hopes for returning all students back to the buildings. Surveys were sent out, and students and parents all talked about if returning to school was in their best interest. Now, there are two choices: return to the building full-time, or remain on remote learning, with the hybrid model no longer an option. Currently, most students are now back in the building full-time, while some have made the choice to remain fully virtual. We have returned to some kind of normalcy, and there are now high hopes for students, teachers, parents, and administrators that September will be even better. Thankfully, we have come a long way since March of 2020.